Wenstrup Testifies to Military Readiness Crisis, Need for Robust Defense Budget
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) joined the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee to testify in support of a robust defense budget for Fiscal Year 2018 that addresses the U.S. military’s urgent readiness crisis, modernizes our force to ensure future national security, and prepares the men and women of our Armed Forces to complete their missions and come home safely.
“As an Army reservist, Congressman Wenstrup has a valuable perspective on military readiness,” said House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger. “His testimony and insight on what we need to do to rebuild our military will be important as the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee puts together the priorities for rebuilding our military.”
Key quotes from Congressman Wenstrup’s testimony:
“In recent years, the U.S. military has faced years of devastating cuts, leaving us with the smallest Army since before World War II, a Navy fleet among the smallest since World War I, and an Air Force whose top general has said it may not be able to control the skies in a future conflict. President Trump has repeatedly expressed his support for rebuilding our military, and I also applaud his commitment to cutting waste and eliminating unnecessary spending. However, I am concerned that the 2018 defense budget previewed by the White House is not sufficient to fully resource the bold agenda to rebuild our military that the President has set for his administration.”
“In 2016, the Army reached the lowest level of Active Duty troops since 1940. The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act prevented even further cuts, but the Army is still too small to meet our national security requirements. Quantity has a quality of its own, and we will need more troops if we are to simultaneously destroy ISIS, support the Afghan government against the Taliban, serve as an effective deterrent to Russian and Chinese aggression, and be prepared to respond to unexpected contingencies across the globe, or even at home. Rebuilding the United States military’s end strength is a complex, decades-long process, but we must begin making this long-term investment today in order to prepare our defenders for the conflicts of the current decade, as well as the threats of tomorrow.”
“Just as with any federal agency, the Department of Defense has to prioritize, make strategic choices, cut waste and inefficiency, and operate within budgetary realities. But resourcing these urgent needs of our Armed Forces is not optional -- a failure to do so will result in a continued readiness crisis, weakened national security, and ultimately the loss of American lives. However, the good news is we do not have to force these impossible choices on our military. A defense budget that is in line with the House Armed Services Committee’s proposal will fulfill our constitutional obligation to provide President Trump and Secretary Mattis with the force they need to deter threats and keep our nation secure. Most importantly, it will ensure our men and women in uniform have the resources, training, and equipment they need to keep us safe and come home safe themselves.”
Full transcript available, here.
Congressman Wenstrup is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and serves as Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee and Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Health Subcommittee.